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What to do after ER?
Old 02-26-2014, 01:28 PM   #1
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What to do after ER?

My DH and I had a discussion last night about ER. We are definitely on track especially if we move. However my DH said he didn't want to retire. He wasn't interested in leaving his job. He was worried about not having a meaning in life.

I stay at home and find like okay and I do worry about kids go to school. But I think there will still be stuff to do. He asked what do you do all day when the kids are at school?

He's worried about doing nothing. He has no desire to work in a job that he doesn't like. He likes what he does A LOT. He doesn't want to start a business when we retire and cut into our savings rather than keep on working at what he does.

So what can I tell him? What do I say? Do people here who are ER have kids? What do you do while they are in school?
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Old 02-26-2014, 01:45 PM   #2
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I am not FIRE, but there are plenty of things to do that don't require someone else telling you to do them. There is always something out there to create, destroy, or learn about, someone to help.

He could focus on exercising more and work on living the rest of his life to its fullest at his best, he could read, read, and read some more, nonfiction and fiction. He could catch the volunteer bug and lend his skills out for free, on his own terms, or give some shelter animals one more person's TLC for the day. He could learn to cook amazing things, dance beautiful dances, or play beautiful music.

He could write. A blog, a book, a journal, or a newsletter. He could start knitting and sewing blankets and clothes for grandkids yet to come, and donate the extra if he finds he can't stop. He could fish, or paint, or sing. He could learn trick shots in pool, or start auditioning for every local play and production. He could start filming your children grow up, and capture every moment.

After ER, he can try it all, and have all the time he needs to learn.

He could try a new thing every single day, or he could do the one thing he loves the most every day for the rest of his life. He could even wander around the streets shouting at young folk for using their cell phones too much. That's his choice.
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Old 02-26-2014, 01:50 PM   #3
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If he likes what he does then why do you want him to ER? Are you bored without having him home more?
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Old 02-26-2014, 01:53 PM   #4
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He asked what do you do all day when the kids are at school?
So what did you tell him you do?
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Old 02-26-2014, 01:57 PM   #5
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If he likes what he does then why do you want him to ER? Are you bored without having him home more?
I missed the part where you said he likes his job a lot! I only saw where you said he has no desire to work a job he doesn't like.

I second this question. Why would he stop doing something that he loves and is making money at it?
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Old 02-26-2014, 02:54 PM   #6
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He sounds like a poor candidate for ER...at this time. Neither was I until I hit late fifties and the BS bucket started to get full. I was afraid of an inevitable poor exit because I'd just blow up at the foolish people I worked for (politicians). Anyway, I'd relax and let him work if that's what he wants to do; it will only pad your accounts for a more relaxed and financially safe retirement when he's ready to go.

Speaking of retirement we stopped at Barnes and Noble on way home from lunch. If you're retired, take a slow walk down the "Management" aisle...I almost burst out laughing at the titles! Especially ones I had been forced to read during my career. Hence my tag line...good ol Lester Burnham!
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Old 02-26-2014, 03:48 PM   #7
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When I saw the title of this thread, my immediate thought was that he/she/they are not ER material.

I mean, less than a year away from my own ER, I spend a lot of time visualizing how my work-free days will unfold - there is so much on my to-do list that quite honestly, even retiring in my early 40's, I will be hard pressed to do it all.

Some (if not most) people should just keep working (providing they like their jobs).
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Old 02-26-2014, 04:01 PM   #8
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If he likes his job and is not staying there because he doesn't know what else to do, but because he likes what he's doing, then there is no reason for him to retire now. Many people enjoy their jobs and see no reason to leave.

But eventually and inevitably whether by choice or not everyone is going to stop working. It's a good idea to have in mind what to do when that happens.

The longest-running thread on this board is What did you do today? that is other people's answer to that question. Perhaps there is one for him.

And welcome to the forum!
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Old 02-26-2014, 04:24 PM   #9
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If he enjoys his work, or just prefers it to 'permanent vacation,' he should keep working! Having the means to retire is not in itself a reason to retire. 'It's not enough to retire from something, you also have to have something (better) to retire to.'

I had the same concern before I retired. What helped me was a simple exercise, the Get-A-Life Tree exercise in the book How to Retire Happy, Wild & Free by Ernie Zelinski (it may be in The Joy of Not Working also) - your local library may have it. It helps you brainstorm for personally engaging activities, the goal is identifying 50.

What to do in retirement does not come as easily to some, as others. It's important to remember this forum community is NOT typical. For many here the question may seem silly, but for a surprisingly large number of people (outside ER.org), answering the question, "What do I do for fun?" is harder than they expect.

According to AARP, you shouldn't even consider retiring until you can identify at least 25 things you like to do that can fill your time.

Some people find their work rewarding, contrary to some views here. There's nothing wrong with that, as long as you don't let your work define you entirely. There should be more to life than work alone.

A second career just for fun is an option if he gets bored, but restarting a primary career after years out of circulation can be difficult if not impossible.

And here's some good reading (probably for him) (FAQ archive) But... what will I do all day?
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Old 02-26-2014, 04:46 PM   #10
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I'm not sure I'm an ER candidate, I love my job, but I joined the site to learn.
I don't understand your opening " My DH and I had a discussion last night about ER. We are definitely on track especially if we move." How are you on track if he doesn't want to retire?
"He was worried about not having a meaning in life." When/if he's ready, doesn't he have hobbies or interests? There are classes at local colleges, volunteer possibilities, reading to catch up, sleeping!!!!
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Old 02-26-2014, 06:55 PM   #11
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He wasn't interested in leaving his job. He was worried about not having a meaning in life.
IMO, for someone like this, it would be a huge mistake to retire voluntarily.

It's a mentality I don't understand, similar to that of someone who chooses the coal mine over Shangri-La, but even I would recommend he continue w*rking.
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Old 02-26-2014, 07:51 PM   #12
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I know a lot of people who put so much of their life energy into their career that they never had much time to develop other interests. I believe this group of people likely struggles with retirement the most. Some keep working until their health completely fails. It happened all the time at my last company.
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:42 PM   #13
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I know a lot of people who put so much of their life energy into their career that they never had much time to develop other interests. I believe this group of people likely struggles with retirement the most. Some keep working until their health completely fails. It happened all the time at my last company.

That's my dad. I keep taking him to doctors for various pains and surgeries on hope for a pain free repair.....To enjoy retirement? Uh, no...so he can keep working at age 77. I don't even think he takes the money, he just gives it back to my brother who owns the business. I know he thinks I'm nuts at age 49 retired and not doing anything of true substance.
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:07 PM   #14
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...not doing anything of true substance.

I think I have a new sig!
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:53 PM   #15
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This is one question I would have NO problem answering . But I do know quite a few family members who would not know what to do with themselves without work.
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Old 02-27-2014, 06:20 AM   #16
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He does not have to ER if he does not want it.
But wouldn't he like to take part in the life of the kids and be a real influence, more than by being the provider of the money?
Wouldn't it be great to take extended trips with the family during school holidays?

Could DH test the waters by taking a day/w off regularly or taking a sabbatical, if not for a year then for a summer?

Relatives of us started ER when he was 50 with a pension, she SAHM at 35, their kids between 4 and 8. He and his wife joined sports activities of the kids, like coaching, becoming referees, visiting games. They also did lots of other things as a family, like visiting historic places during camping trips. No helicopter parents, just interested in their kids as persons.
Today the kids are grown up, still very close, very bright and fun to be with.
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Old 02-27-2014, 06:50 AM   #17
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I ER'd because I was not getting any fulfillment at w*rk, and while I was sitting at my desk, I felt like I was dying inside because of all the dreams deferred that would give me that fulfillment. Those who get that sort of fulfillment while getting paid are lucky IMO.
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Old 02-27-2014, 06:58 AM   #18
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I would recommend this book - Amazon.com: How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won't Get from Your Financial Advisor eBook: Ernie Zelinski: Books
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:12 AM   #19
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It's tempting to try to plan what you'll do when you ER, but may not turn out as you planned. It's sort of like having sex - can be better than you think!
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:59 AM   #20
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Sounds like he's set with what he wants to do, but you're having difficulty with it. Find things for yourself to do, things YOU enjoy. Go out and meet new people. You can't sit home alone alone and be happy. Hopefully, he'll get the picture and retire so you can do things together; unless his job is more important than a relationship. Yea - it's his job, but it takes two to make a strong relationship.

Show him this thread...
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